One of the world’s most beloved voices, ANDY WILLIAMS, has embarked on a national tour that will take him to St. Louis later this month. Unfortunately for those who swoon at the sound of his golden tenor pipes, the 80-something entertainer won’t be doing much singing. Instead, he’s promoting his memoir, Moon River and Me, which encompasses his seven decades in show business, including the beginnings of The Williams Brothers, the struggle to launch a solo career and recording a string of hits that led to worldwide superstardom. His St. Louis appearance is at The Ethical Society Oct. 24.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA has appointed our town’s ROGER BEACHY to be the first director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Beachy, the founding president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, formally joined the new agency last week. The agreement calls for Beachy to be ‘on loan’ to NIFA from the Danforth Center, hastening his transition from center president to vice chairman of the board of trustees, a move that had been planned for next year. An international search for Beachy’s successor at the center is in the works.

This Saturday’s THE BIG READ book festival features an 11:45 a.m. appearance by New York Times best-selling author GREG MORTENSON, whose book, Three Cups of Tea, has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide. The free festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Clayton High School campus.

Author, parenting expert and frequent Today show contributor DR. MICHELE BORBA will be at THE WILSON SCHOOL Oct. 15 to talk about raising socially responsible kids. Her latest book, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries, is being hailed as ‘the only parenting book you’ll ever need.’

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE’s charity shopping weekend takes place Oct. 15 to 18 at the Frontenac store. Saks will donate 2 percent of weekend sales up to $250,000 to local and national women’s cancer organizations and research centers.

Calling all foodies: It’s time to treat yourself—for a great cause! THE HAVEN OF GRACE holds its annual autumn fundraiser, ‘It’s All About Food,’ Sunday, Nov. 8. As in years past, LARRY FORGIONE’s An American Place hosts the event, and this year, chefs have been challenged to use only ingredients found within 150 miles of St. Louis. The Haven of Grace is also launching its ‘Empty Hand, Open Heart’ campaign to support the organization’s specific and basic needs in helping homeless, expectant mothers and their children.

A lifetime’s worth of paintings and drawings by modernist artist and poet EDWARD BOCCIA will be shown at Brewington gallery in the Central West End beginning Oct. 16. Boccia, of Webster Groves, is professor emeritus of the School of Fine Arts at Washington University. His works are included in the collections of the Saint Louis Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, and Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, among others.

The SAINT LOUIS ZOO has been granted accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The designation by the AZA’s accreditation panel means the Zoo meets the highest standards in the world. To be accredited, the Saint Louis Zoo underwent a thorough investigation of its animal care, conservation, education, safety and veterinary programs.

For the first time in its history, CLAYTON TAEKWONDO has handed out two black belt rankings to two of its students: 15-year-old HENRY LUEPKE of Saint Louis University High School and attorney MATTHEW SMITH of Polsinelli Shalton Flanigan Suelthaus. The club is managed by brothers MICHAEL and ERIC HILL.

The UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-ST. LOUIS is the recipient of $4 million in gifts, courtesy of EXPRESS SCRIPTS. The contribution, part of UMSL’s newly unveiled Gateway for Greatness campaign, includes $2.5 million from the company and $500,000 from CEO and chairman GEORGE PAZ and his wife, MELISSA. The Express Scripts Foundation previously donated $1 million to the university. Paz is a 1982 business administration graduate of UMSL. His company’s gift will go toward scholarships for outstanding students in need of financial aid and also fund the university’s future growth.

KSDK Newschannel 5 has named station veteran ALICIA ELSNER its new general sales manager. Elsner, previously the station’s local sales manager, has been with KSDK since 1997.